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Author Topic: Amateur Repeaters on Verizon owned towers  (Read 27846 times)
N5LRQ
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« on: March 27, 2011, 08:04:24 AM »

Looking for anyone who knows of any repeaters located on Verizon owned towers & what there lease agreement,terms ect are.

We currently have 7 sites in south MS with repeaters on towers that were acquired by Verizon from Alltel & now they are asking for $500.00 a month per site.

N5LRQ
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KD6CPA
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 07:07:08 PM »

Do you have a written lease agreement with Altel?  If so, Verizon should have to atone to that.  If not, then this is an example of why such legal lease agreements (even if for only $1.00 a year) are important.
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N5LRQ
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 07:56:20 PM »

Unfortunately We did not not have a lease agreement. It all started back in 1993 when the cellular company was individually owned. Later in 2003 it was bought by Alltel who allowed them to remain. The Problem started when Verizon bought Alltel.

It looks like they do not want to support Amateur Radio & public service. The system that will be effected was the only communications during Hurricane Katrina & for a week after. It consist of 6 linked repeaters that covered from the capitol city Jackson to the gulf coast. All remained operational on emergency backup generators. It will be ashamed to lose such a vital last line of communications that served the purpose it was intended for.

N5LRQ
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AD4U
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 06:01:37 AM »

"Vertical real estate" is a very valuable commodity as you have unfortunately found out.  $500 a month for a high site on a good tower is about right. 

Those of us (myself included) who have HAM repeaters located in climate controlled buildings, on "free" tower sites, and who pay nothing for electricity are very fortunate.

I have been waiting for the axe to fall on me since 1988, but so far it has not.  If it does, my three repeaters will probably go QRT.

Dick  AD4U
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W6LAR
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 07:52:09 PM »

I retired after 45 years with GTE/Verizon. Most of the last 25 years was spent in Microwave and tower work here in California and the company was never friendly to having anything to do with renting space in company sites. I believe their attitude was due to the fact we were classed as a common carrier and having strangers on our towers and in our sites would pose a hazard to the company system. The chance of having someone fool around with company equipment would be a federal offense. Also had a lot to do with insurance too. I did all the yearly tower inspections in California along with my site duties. Today they are eliminating sites due to having fiber taking the place of Microwave. Many are being turned off and the building and towers sold off. It was a fun run while it lasted!  Grin
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K6AER
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 09:49:34 AM »

You might want to get a hold of their public relations department and work it from that angle. I would not hold your breath.

Cell phone companies are in the business to make money and at best, hams are just another distraction they don't need. A typical cell tower can have over 160 cell channels. From their perspective we are not far removed from smoke signals.
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KA6MLE
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 04:58:32 PM »

From their perspective we are not far removed from smoke signals.

Well I have Verizon and mobile to mobile communications is not so good. Their motto "can you hear me now", the answer would be "barely!" I never have any problem hearing my fellow hams on the local repeaters, audio quality 5 stars...    Grin
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 07:38:17 AM »

Unfortunately We did not not have a lease agreement. It all started back in 1993 when the cellular company was individually owned. Later in 2003 it was bought by Alltel who allowed them to remain. The Problem started when Verizon bought Alltel.

It looks like they do not want to support Amateur Radio & public service. The system that will be effected was the only communications during Hurricane Katrina & for a week after. It consist of 6 linked repeaters that covered from the capitol city Jackson to the gulf coast. All remained operational on emergency backup generators. It will be ashamed to lose such a vital last line of communications that served the purpose it was intended for.

N5LRQ

Go public with your story.  Emphasize what happened during Katrina and that Verizon's actions will curtail that capability in the future.
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W3LK
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 08:55:50 AM »


Go public with your story.  Emphasize what happened during Katrina and that Verizon's actions will curtail that capability in the future.

Verizon is under no obligation, either legally or morally, to provide tower space for amateur repeaters. If they choose to do so, that's fine. But I seriously doubt Joe Public cares one whit whether they do or not.

Such attempts at public blackmail seldom are successful.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 08:58:43 AM by W3LK » Logged

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
W3JKS
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 02:43:38 PM »


Go public with your story.  Emphasize what happened during Katrina and that Verizon's actions will curtail that capability in the future.

...  Such attempts at public blackmail seldom are successful.

Not to mention poisoning the well for any future opportunities.
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AF6D
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 02:27:38 PM »

Going public should be your absolute LAST course of action. Find common ground. State that you can't afford $500 and that you serve a public need. Discuss your role during katrina. Offer $100 a month and bite the bullet. Negotiate. Find the compromise if there is one. Verizon is under no obligation to even allow you on their tower, so going public would likely backfire. Perhaps contacting your local RACES/ARES Manager and ask that s/he act as a go-between.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 12:53:35 PM »

Absolutely agreed that going 'public' should be your last course of action.  Another thing to try would be to write a letter to Verizon's public relations department and outline the whole history, from the time the repeater was allowed on the tower.  Plainly state that the repeater is used by ARES, RACES and volunteers of the local Emergency Management Agency.  A copy of a letter stating that from the local EMA may be helpful.

Let them know that absolutely ANY work done on the co-ax or antennas on the towers will be done under their supervision, when they can schedule a 'supervisor' to be on location--or you would be willing to have someone who is agreeable to both of you do that work.  That is the main issue they worry about since they are a common carrier and they cannot afford 'downtime' because of some ham who accidentally damaged their equipment on the tower.

Let them know that you will only be there to work on the repeater when absolutely necessary, in other words when the repeater HAS TO BE worked on.  You may try letting them know that your members would be willing to "keep an eye" on those sites as well, and would report any suspicious activity at the sites to the authorities. 

It would also be a good idea to each town/city police department know that Verizon granted you access to the site if they do.  Most police departments take a dim view of people who don't have a company truck trespassing on those sites.

Good luck with the resolution of your problem.
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W6LAR
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2011, 01:26:06 AM »

This statement says a lot......

"Let them know that absolutely ANY work done on the co-ax or antennas on the towers will be done under their supervision, when they can schedule a 'supervisor' to be on location--or you would be willing to have someone who is agreeable to both of you do that work.  That is the main issue they worry about since they are a common carrier and they cannot afford 'downtime' because of some ham who accidentally damaged their equipment on the tower."

It sounds nice but I can tell you they DON'T have enough supervisors to go around letting you in the door and watching your every move! Also, they DON'T have hardly enough worker bees to keep their own stuff working anymore. They have let go and cut their workforce to the bone. It is right about being a common carrier and there is the specter of liability for anyone on their towers. Way back when, there was one supervisor per switch and maybe 10 or 15 worker bees. Now its one supervisor per 20 switches and if lucky one worker bee per switch or maybe one per 3 switches. The last five years with Verizon before I retired it was just me and my partner to cover phone microwave tower inspections for Verizon in California. Before that we had more bodies to work with. So don't count on Verizon being in your corner no matter how you plead "public service".
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K1CJS
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2011, 06:09:20 AM »

I realize that they have cut their workforce--my cousin used to work for them, and he told me a lot.  I was just telling the man how to try to grease the skids to try to keep the sites they have, nothing more.
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KA2UUP
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2011, 09:00:51 AM »

They do not want the competition because it is free and want yo to you the cell phone in an emergency.

Cell phones are not that reliable in an emegency, especially when the landlines that connect the cell sites are down for the count.

Good luck DE KA2UUP
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